A NEW AGE

THE SIG P320 RX COM­PACT PER­FORMS BIG

Tactical World - - Contents - TEXT BY DAVE RHO­DEN | PHOTOS COURTESY OF VERTX

Big things come in small pack­ages, such as the SIG P320RX com­pact. By Dave Rho­den

So, I’m in an LE Pro­tec­tive Op­er­a­tions course. As a class, we’re dis­cussing suits and ap­parel that match the as­sign­ment. I made the sim­ple sug­ges­tion of hav­ing a cob­bler mod­ify the out­soles of your dress shoes, so that they’re not so slick, when I was im­me­di­ately shown the er­ror of my ways; the en­su­ing snick­ers and jokes con­firmed if you use the word “cob­bler,” you’re old.

Let me back up. The night be­fore, I’m driv­ing to my ho­tel in a brand new ren­tal car, a 2018 Dodge Durango GT. Sweet ride, but God help you if you’re over 40 and the win­dows start to fog up. I swear I couldn’t fig­ure out for the life of me how to work the new dig­i­tal screen or knob to turn on the wipers and de­froster. Up un­til that mo­ment, I was in the market for a new car. Now, maybe I just need a newer car.

The ic­ing on the cake? I’m look­ing for read­ing glasses to com­pli­ment my con­tact lens pre­scrip­tion. Man, when it rains, it pours, right? So, I fig­ure, while I’m pil­ing on the change train, why not re­ally give my­self a curve­ball and try car­ry­ing a SIG in­stead of my tra­di­tional Glock 19?

FIRST THOUGHTS

I picked up a new striker-fired SIG P320 RX Com­pact re­cently. At the time of writ­ing this, I have about 1,500 rounds through it. Let’s break down first im­pres­sions:

Is it ac­cu­rate? Ab­so­lutely. Ev­ery man­u­fac­turer is slightly dif­fer­ent with re­gards to their sights and where to hold the irons in re­la­tion to the bulls­eye, but the RX comes with the 3 MOA ROMEO1 re­flex red dot sight mounted and al­ready co-wit­nessed to its SIGLITE Night Sights. I’ve trained ex­ten­sively over the last few years with red-dot sights mounted on pis­tols, us­ing both Le­upold’s Delta Point Pro and Tri­ji­con’s RMR, so this part was an easy tran­si­tion. I can con­sis­tently punch the same hole

“EV­ERY MAN­U­FAC­TURER IS SLIGHTLY DIF­FER­ENT WITH RE­GARDS TO THEIR SIGHTS AND WHERE TO HOLD THE IRONS IN RE­LA­TION TO THE BULLS­EYE, BUT THE RX COMES WITH THE 3 MOA ROMEO1 RE­FLEX RED DOT SIGHT MOUNTED AND AL­READY CO-WIT­NESSED TO ITS SIGLITE NIGHT SIGHTS.”

stand­ing, un­sup­ported, with ei­ther irons or the red dot at 7 yards.

The irons are smartly placed in the bot­tom edge of the red dot op­tics’ field of view, which I ap­pre­ci­ate, so that your tar­get is not ob­structed by ei­ther your front or rear sights. This is very sim­i­lar to how Le­upold sets theirs up. The ROMEO1 has a large field of view, sim­i­lar to the Delta Point, which makes it easy to see your tar­get and sur­round­ing tar­gets for faster tran­si­tions. The dot is clear and crisp. There are seven lev­els of bright­ness (the dot flashes five times when it hits the bright­est set­ting) and hold­ing ei­ther bright­ness but­ton for three sec­onds turns the dot off. The low­est two set­tings are night- vi­sion-com­pat­i­ble. I will say that on a very bright sun­lit range day, I found my­self search­ing for a cou­ple brighter set­tings, but that, and other up­grades have been ad­dressed on the up­com­ing ROMEO1T, which has 10 bright­ness set­tings.

You don’t have to worry about los­ing your zero when re­plac­ing the bat­ter­ies, be­cause ac­cess is sim­ple and on top of the op­tic. In fact, in a re­cent SIG bat­ter­ing of over 5,000 rounds of .45 ACP, the op­tic shifted less than 1 inch at 25 yards.

The bright­ness set­tings for the ROMEO1 are on the left side of the op­tic hous­ing. I did have to Dremel the top edge off my Pit­bull Tac­ti­cal hol­ster’s sweat guard to al­low room for it to clear with­out hit­ting the bright­ness con­trols. (I’ve heard some of­fi­cers ran into a prob­lem when their duty hol­sters pressed against the op­tics side con­trols when seated in their pa­trol cars, ac­ci­den­tally turn­ing them off).

In the EP course men­tioned at the top of the ar­ti­cle, I was in and out of cars all week long and for­tu­nately never ex­pe­ri­enced that. When the ROMEO1T launches, there will also be an avail­able shroud that fur­ther pro­tects those con­trols, as well as the op­tic it­self, not only mak­ing them per­fect for tac­ti­cal and duty pis­tols, but great for pis­tol-cal­iber-car­bines, short­bar­reled ri­fles, and side-mount­ing

them on com­pe­ti­tion ri­fles with mag­ni­fy­ing op­tics.

Both ROMEO1 op­tics have an IPX-7 rat­ing for com­plete im­mer­sion in wa­ter up to 1 me­ter, and are fog-proof—a great ben­e­fit when tran­si­tion­ing from air-con­di­tion­ing to the hot and hu­mid outdoors.

To save bat­tery life, the dot turns off af­ter two min­utes of in­ac­tiv­ity and in­stantly turns on when you move the weapon. That said, I hadn’t ever turned mine off and had al­ready flown with this pis­tol sev­eral times, pre­vent­ing it from en­ter­ing “sleep mode.” Sub­se­quently, I fi­nally had a dead bat­tery when I ar­rived on my lat­est trip. The ROMEO1T does, how­ever, sig­nif­i­cantly im­prove bat­tery life to over 20,000 hours. Both ver­sions of the op­tics use a sin­gle CR1632 bat­tery that can read­ily be found at your

lo­cal hard­ware store.

RANGE RE­AC­TIONS

In the hand, the P320 feels fine, very pointable, though maybe a hair too smooth in the ar­eas with­out the fac­tory stip­pling (I will mod­ify this in the fu­ture). SIG does of­fer vary­ing grip mod­ules for the P320, so you can get the fit that matches your hand size. I did swap out the stock trig­ger (which I found a lit­tle heavy) with an Apex Tac­ti­cal Flat Face trig­ger that also had a more pro­nounced re­set, and I have been very pleased with it. The trig­ger guard has am­ple room to use with gloves, and I don’t see a need to do an un­der­cut, like I have on my Glocks, to get a higher pur­chase on the grip.

The slide comes stan­dard with front ser­ra­tions that make press-checks a cinch (are you lis­ten­ing, Glock?). That said, a press-check re­ally isn’t nec­es­sary, as there’s just enough room be­tween the cham­ber and slide to see with a quick glimpse the brass when it’s loaded, a very handy fea­ture.

Shoot­ing the SIG P320 com­pared to a Glock re­ally is all about rhythm. The bore height (bar­rel over hand) is taller than that of a Glock, so the snap and felt re­coil are sim­ply dif­fer­ent. Think about lis­ten­ing to a fa­vorite tune in your car and then some­one changes ra­dio sta­tions mid-song. The new rhythm isn’t nec­es­sar­ily wrong, it just takes a minute to ad­just. About an hour af­ter shoot­ing the P320, I felt like things were start­ing to click, and I hit my new stride. Right now, I can ac­cu­rately shoot my Glock faster than I can shoot my SIG. But that dif­fer­ence is min­i­mal and im­prov­ing with reps.

On my SIG P229, I rarely had the slide lock back on empty be­cause my hands al­ways seemed to ride the slide re­lease, but I haven’t had that prob­lem at all with the P320. I do like the SIG’S mag re­lease bet­ter than my Glock’s; it’s more pro­nounced, eas­ier

to hit, and seems to have a more pos­i­tive re­lease. And my reloads are def­i­nitely faster with the P320, as the steel mags al­ways drop free. It might just be per­cep­tion, but I also feel I’m faster seat­ing their mags, as well. The com­pact P320 comes stan­dard with 15-round mags, but the 17- and 21-round vari­ants also fit and make for great backup mags. The slide re­lease is ambidextrous, and the mag re­lease can be swapped to ei­ther side.

Break­ing down the P320 is sim­ple and gets eas­ier as the gun is bro­ken in. Lock the slide to the rear, ro­tate the break­down lock­ing lever, and then re­move the slide for­ward and off the grip mod­ule. A huge ad­van­tage is in their se­ri­al­ized re­mov­able frame and trig­ger hous­ing, al­low­ing you to not only con­vert your P320 to an­other cal­iber or pis­tol size with the same trig­ger group, but it’s now eas­ier to get a deeper clean­ing on your in­ter­nal com­po­nents than on a Glock. My pre­ferred carry po­si­tion is ap­pendix and I usu­ally want a light mounted to all my mid-size pis­tols (I’m run­ning a Sure­fire XC1 on the P320). Ini­tially, choos­ing a hol­ster did pose a slight prob­lem, as there were fewer op­tions that also ac­com­mo­dated lights, but that’s changed even in the last 30 days as the P320s gain in pop­u­lar­ity.

My SIG is newer, so it’s past that whole drop is­sue from their ini­tial re­lease, but I have not ex­pe­ri­enced a sin­gle mal­func­tion or fail­ure to feed, even when run­ning vary­ing grains (115-grain, 124-grain and 147-grain), in­clud­ing fac­tory and reloads.

THUMBS UP

So, it’s ac­cu­rate, re­li­able, cus­tom­iz­a­ble for fit through the grip mod­ules, and can come stan­dard with a red dot op­tic that’s co-wit­nessed. A SIG P320 RX is new tech that I can get used to. TW

The FDE ( flat dark earth) ROMEO1T with Shroud and 1913 mounts with riser on SIG’S MPX K PSB make for a per­fect bag ( or truck) gun combo. The ROMEO1T has 10 bright­ness set­tings ( ver­sus 7 for the ROMEO1), and is eas­ily bright enough for a bright out­door range day in Florida.

Whether shoot­ing the ROMEO1 or 1T, SIG has tor­ture- tested the op­tics to as­sure your zero is main­tained.

The SIG P320 RX comes with the 3 MOA ROMEO1 Re­flex Red Dot Sight mounted and al­ready co- wit­nessed to its SIGLITE Night Sights.

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